Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"Crack on!!"


Blogging Friends.... Busy. That one two-syllable word pretty much sums up my life right now!! Busy. What with my still hush-hush secretive writing project slowly making progress. A pair of consecutive late, late nights typing. Insane, I know!! And trying to keep Beautifully Unique updated, yet failing anyway. This computer and I are now one, joined together like twain working partners. Sigh.... I've felt like a robot recently--built by some much more intelligent human being than I--and that is never good. Christmas music is playing as these words are being typed. Yes, Christmas music!! I feel codependent to these cheery holiday songs right now like some infant on breast milk.... They nourish my soul.
It has swiftly become my firm belief that life possesses a sense of humor. An ironic sense of humor!! Which, is refreshing, since life can also be so hard!! Difficult. Yet humorous. Life most certainly evens itself out!! Doesn't it? And, since God Himself is Author of life, then He, too, must possess a strong sense of humor!! An ironic sense of humor, that is!! So, I taught Rose the phrase "crack on". To me, this is "Sherlock Talk", part of a Robert Downey Jr. line. And it forevermore shall be!! But, I knew very little about where "crack on" originated from. What does it mean? I wondered. Did moviemakers invent "crack on"? Maybe it came from one of Robert Downey Jr.'s brilliant contributions? I finally did Google-search "crack on" after saying the phrase several times. But I still knew very little about it. I then learned that "crack on" means: To make good speed. To push on hard. To carry on. Cool!! So, I taught Rose the phrase "crack on". Quite by accident. Honest!! How did I teach Rose "crack on"? That is a rather eventful story.... Last Summer, in July, I was nervously anticipating seemingly never-ending Independence Day fireworks. For those who own noise-phobic canines, that time of year can feel like a helpless hell. And, in 2011, Rose most certainly gave me a "run for my money", as the saying goes!! It was an all-Summer experience, which I expressed throughout not one, but three Blog posts!! This being Rose's first 4th of July with me, I had zero clues as to how badly she would "mishandle" it. Zero clues. Independence Day landed on a Monday, so people launched fireworks plus bottle rockets. All weekend long and then some. When I walked Rose, one would explode. And she'd immediately perform an about-face. Literally. Rose would turn me around and immediately march home. If we were inside, I become a virtual "refrigerator". Rose was the "magnet", attaching her trembling body to mine. She occasionally hid beneath our great room table. If we were in the backyard when one exploded, same deal. An about-face toward our sliding glass door. Really? Does Rose not hear herself bay? Shouldn't that high-pitched howling hurt her ears? Apparently not!! Getting Rose to urinate before bed, proved our greatest challenge of all.... I would feed Rose some pumpkin at 9:50, link my girl's red leash to her collar, and encourage with a "Let's go outside!!", then the battle begun!! Eventually, we even forwent our nighttime walks. Temporarily. Plus, I purchased Rose a red harness for better control. So, I would lead Rose toward our backdoor, then every muscle within her neck tensed up!! What?! Is that the "German Shepherd" in her? I'd gently, yet firmly pull my canine toward outside, and she yanked back, like some stubborn mare. With an even stronger force. Rose simply refused to go outside!! At all. Once finally in the backyard, I repeatedly encouraged: "Go potty." Then our tug-of-war continued!! I would lead Rose to her new favorite location, and she'd yank back!! Midway, my mutt would sit--like some strong-willed three-year old child--certain that a firework could explode at any second!! Poor thing!! Not that I blamed her!! Given the pattern of those things randomly exploding, my little girl's worry was actually quite valid!! Quite valid. If I tried to walk Rose, we would never even leave our front lawn before her mighty muscles tensed up!! My goal was for Rose to urinate before bed. All Summer long, that seldom ever occurred. It felt as though I wandered an endless circle in attempting to solve this problem. Trying to find solutions. And I ran out of ideas!! Now the fireworks were gone. They were no more. The only bottle rockets which still existed were within Rose's head!! It was as though she suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I tried being firm. One night I gently pulled my headstrong girl--while she yanked back in return--halfway down our cul-de-sac!! This took thirty minutes of tug and stop, take a breather, begin again!! It was exhausting!! Both physically and emotionally!! Not to mention, it looked terrible!! Me, pulling a poor canine down the street.... Have I no decency? I tried being gentle to the extreme. We slowly took our time. Zero pressure. Rose could sniff bushes. She was allowed to freeze in motion. I'm relaxed and completely patient with her. Yet neither option worked!! I struggled to maintain my sanity and evade frustration. For every night, I "fought with Rose"!! It reached a point to where I no longer excitedly anticipated our walks. They were no longer enjoyable. I now dreaded them!! Eventually, I gained a bit of wisdom. I mentally threw my hands up in surrender. New plan. Feed Rose her pumpkin at 9:50. Fasten the harness. Link her leash. And onward toward our backyard we would head!! But not without a battle!! We would step foot/paw out the sliding glass door. That part was easy. She cooperated fine with leaving the house!! But, my little girl would stop--stock-still--once we were outside!! She'd put on her breaks at the end of our patio!! Why me? I tried pulling Rose everywhere in the privacy of our backyard. No success!! So now what? I stargazed!! Alongside a very reluctant Rose!! It was August now. And Summer skies are sprinkled with tiny sparkling stars!! I arranged this long white plastic lawn chair and positioned it next to "Dougie", our rapidly-growing future Christmas tree. There I sat, staring upward. Rose's red leash connected to my right wrist, I "incarcerated" her for about five minutes. This way, she could learn just how safe the darkened outside world truly was. Or not. It was unconvincing. For Rose's fear--pathological may it be--is, according to some experts, inbred. She was born with Noise Phobia. And I witnessed Rose's fear swiftly graduate from pathological to psychological. I tried every "solution" my mind could imagine up. I even bribed Rose with treats, as though she were a preschool-aged child. Nothing worked!! This was a roller coaster ride of one step forward and two steps back. Temporary success. Long-term defeat. I so desperately wanted a victory!! An ending to this hell!! My perseverance was running on empty. Then, I got smart. At last!! I reached a realization that Rose not only learns best with treats, and bribing is for naught, but my Beagle cross can anticipate one.... So long as she is cooperative!! If my Rose walked flawlessly down our cul-de-sac--the entire way--sans tensing up, she earned a baby carrot!! Plus endless praise!! If not, nothing. No treat. Not even a simple "Good girl". It was "tough love" time!! This newfound plan began one night during a short-lived heat wave. Quite by accident. Rose--like everyone--was drinking more water than usual. That night, she provided me with a pleasant surprise!! I lead her toward our backyard, and Rose walked in the direction of growing blueberries!! Really....? We walked completely across our backyard.... Toward the end of it!! And then.... She urinated!! The following night, same thing!! On both occasions, I praised Rose excessively, and provided her a baby carrot!! Then. Our heat wave ended. We returned to "fighting" each other. I tried walking Rose down our cul-de-sac.... But gently pulled her instead. Alright. We shall return to the backyard next time. Inhale. Exhale. And relax. Plan Z: I lead Rose toward the blueberries!! My message was crystal clear: Cooperate, baby carrot. Be reluctant--even for a second--she loses!! Rose is my bright girl.... Who loves food!! It most certainly did not require much time for a long-awaited "mission accomplished"!! Why didn't I think of that before? So it was a battle of wills. A battle constantly lost. There were tears on my behalf, feelings of defeat, emotion aplenty!! Whenever I heard one and Rose seemed frightened, I sat alongside her. I spoke in an unnaturally meek tone. I stroked her velvet-soft fur. I hummed any tune that entered my brain. Any tune. This was Rose's first Independence Day with me. I wanted her to understand, best as possible, that I'm here, and I always will be. Fast forward. It's July 2012. All I have to draw back from, memory-wise, is that previous arduous Summer. That first experience. And I did not wish to relive any of it!! So. We needed a plan. A mantra. A phrase, or line, to--if possible--evade another "war" against my canine. So, I taught Rose the phrase "crack on". She learned it. The rest is history....  

 

 

 

10 comments:

Dip-Dip and the Bridge said...

Good luck with your secret writing project, I am looking forward to seeing what it is :)
You did really well, helping Rose with her phobia of noise. Bridge is just the same at Guy Fawks night here and New Year. I have had nights when she was just too scared to pee. She is also funny with objects, someone threw a traffic cone into the park and on 4 succsessive days she stiffened when she saw it and started barking! Dogs are funny creatures but we love them.
Lynne x

Molly The Wally said...

Those rotten fireworks. We just had firework night last week and it went on for days. I spent the dark hours behind the sofa where I feel safe. Lucky now no more boom booms so life is back to normal and we can too crack on. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
Best wishes Molly

Raelyn said...

Lynne....
Thank-you for the comment!! I truly appreciated it!! ;)
"Dogs are funny creatures but we love them.". You said it!! ;op

Raelyn said...

Molly....
Thank-you for the comment!! I truly appreciated it!! ;)
You spent hours hiding behind the sofa. Rose's "refuge" is our "boy's bathroom"!! Or beneath her Uncle Michael's bed. Poor puppies.... ;op

RYKER said...

Poor Rose,RYker is not a fan of fireworks but he recovers quickly. You are so loving and kind with your girl. So glad the "Crack on" has helped to solve the problem.

Raelyn said...

RYKER....
Thank-you for the comment!! I truly appreciated it!! ;)
I am glad that Ryker recovers quickly from fireworks!! Consider yourself lucky!! ;op

coffeedog said...

my little bailey is deathly afraid of fireworks too. we try our best to comfort her with our calming voices, soothing massages and firm hugs, but alas, her fear is greater than our ability to calm :(

Raelyn said...

coffeedog....
Thank-you for the comment!!
Poor Bailey.... :-(
I hear you!! ;op

Ruby said...

I like "crack on". Maybe I will start using that around here!

Raelyn said...

Ruby....
Thank-you for the comment!!
I use "crack on" all. The. Time!! Thanks to Sherlock!! Hee, hee, hee.... ;op